Comcast NBCUniversal today announced the 11 startups selected for the third annual Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars. The startups were chosen from hundreds of applicants from over 40 countries. They are poised to revolutionize strategic areas of focus, including future of work, immersive and interactive experiences, and personalization.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 program, which kicks off today and lasts 13 weeks, will be held virtually. The founders will participate in this immersive program from cities across the globe, including New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Dallas, and London, UK.
The companies will be mentored by 100+ industry leaders from Comcast NBCUniversal and the global Techstars network; participating in workshops on fundraising, working with corporations, and communicating through the media; and meet experienced founders who will share their insights in building and selling highly successful startups. Each company will have the opportunity to work at Comcast NBCUniversal’s global headquarters in Philadelphia in 2021 for additional mentorship and business development opportunities.
"The entire Comcast NBCUniversal family is excited to learn from this diverse group of talented entrepreneurs, and help elevate their companies in new ways," said Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast. "Entrepreneurial passion is more important than ever. Curiosity and different thinking can help society and businesses emerge to what’s next — and we’re ready to start working with these companies focused on areas that are important to our company and customers."
At the conclusion of the program, the companies will participate in a virtual Demo Day on December 3, 2020 and present their businesses before some of the world’s best venture capitalists, startup founders, business executives, and media.
Techstars’ veteran, KJ Singh, will serve as the Managing Director of the 2020 accelerator. He has managed 12 accelerator programs at Techstars since 2013, and invested in over 100 companies that have gone on to raise over $300 million from top-tier angel investors and VCs. KJ, working alongside the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs team, led by Danielle Cohn, Vice President, Startup Engagement and Luke Butler, Sr. Director, Startup Engagement/LIFT Labs, will advise the selected startups on product/market fit, business development, and fundraising strategies that lead to results.
The 2020 class of the Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars includes:
AfroLandTV, Dallas, TX
AfroLandTV is an OTT streaming media platform for Pan African TV shows, and movies.
Beam Health Group, New York, NY
Beam Health empowers healthcare professionals and health systems with premium telehealth services to provide quality, convenient care to patients.
Cast, San Francisco, CA
Cast's automated audio-visual reports with embedded calls to action helps customers understand complex concepts and drive high-value actions.
Covatic, London / Birmingham, UK
Covatic's mobile SDK empowers media companies to deliver exceptional in-app experiences by identifying when, where, and how each individual can engage with content without needing to expose personal data.
Glow Up Games, Brooklyn, NY
Glow Up Games develops and publishes character-driven mobile games for underrepresented gamers and gathers key data on this overlooked demographic to encourage more diverse characters and storylines in the gaming industry.
Introvoke, San Francisco, CA
Introvoke provides white label technology that powers virtual connections, hybrid live events, and elevated networking in a branded experience.
Kidas, Philadelphia, PA
Kidas is an AI service that protects children from cyberbullying and online predators by alerting parents about potentially dangerous activities in their childs' digital life.
Percepta, Philadelphia, PA
Percepta leverages unbiased, AI-driven computer vision technology to analyze existing security camera feeds and alert employees of shoplifting incidents in real-time.
Seshie, Philadelphia, PA
Seshie is a marketplace of expert guides offering live and virtual team building experiences for organizations to increase employee morale and build company culture.
Showcase, New York, NY
Showcase is a video-first hiring platform that uses asynchronous videos to help companies streamline the recruitment process by eliminating repetitive interviews.
WorkChew, Washington, D.C.
WorkChew is a marketplace connecting a community of mobile and remote workers to workspaces in restaurants and hotels across the US and beyond.
A selection committee made up of Techstars experts and leaders from a wide range of Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky business units reviewed the applications and selected the 11 startups. More than half of the companies self-identify as having an under-represented founder, while almost half self-identify as having a female founder.
At the conclusion of this year’s LIFT Labs accelerator, 32 companies will have completed the program with alumni continuing to find venture funding and business success, including many obtaining active deals or proofs of concepts with Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky brands. Among the highlights: the predictive gaming app GameOn is partnering with NBCUniversal on a proof of concept that engages fans of reality programming in a new way. Thinker-Tinker, the ed-tech startup, partnered with DreamWorks Animation to design interactive, educational toys featuring characters from the Trolls World Tour film.
The startups will be supported by the Comcast NBCUniversal Startup Engagement/LIFT Labs team and will work directly with mentors and product experts from across Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses and teams, including the Xfinity technology, product, and experience teams; the NBC and Telemundo broadcast stations; NBCUniversal cable networks; Universal Studios; Universal Theme Parks; DreamWorks Animation; Comcast Business; Comcast Ventures; Sky; Strategic Development; as well as mentors from Techstars’ expansive network. These mentors will help the founders sharpen business models, gain valuable connections, and refine pitches to potential investors and clients.
To learn more about Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Labs Accelerator, powered by Techstars, and the company’s broad Startup Engagement program, visit ComcastNBCULIFT.com.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq:CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest high-speed internet, video, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
Techstars is the global platform for investment and innovation. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create the future, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Today our mission is to make innovation accessible to everyone, everywhere. We do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to create a more sustainable and inclusive world. Since 2006, Techstars has invested in more than 2,200 companies and today has a market cap of $27 Billion. www.techstars.com
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